The Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Saturday unanimously adopted a bill to give 5% reservation to the Kapu community in education and employment sectors. The Kapus, who were so far considered “upper caste”, will be included in the Other Backward Classes category.
However, with the bill, the total percentage of reservation in the state has crossed the Supreme Court-mandated 50% on quotas. The Andhra Pradesh Assembly has now sent the bill to the Centre for the president’s approval. “We will ask them to include this reservation in Schedule 9, so it becomes legitimate,” Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said in the Assembly, according to News18.
The chief minister said that the reservation was many of the election promises that they are fulfilling. “To provide reservations for Kapu community, we formed a commission in 2016 under Justice Manjunath...Through Kapu Corporation, the government is taking up welfare activities for the community in a big way with a budget of Rs 1,000 crore every year.”
Naidu said the existing Backward Castes will not be affected by the decision. “Our aim is to eradicate poverty, financial and social inequalities and create a happy society.”
On Friday, the state Cabinet, chaired by the chief minister, had approved the Justice Manjunatha Commission’s recommendations to earmark 5% quotas for Kapus. The commission had been constituted to look into the status of Other Backward Classes and the several-decades-old demand to include Kapus and their subsections – Telaga, Balija and Ontari – into the category.
Other Backward Classes currently have 25% reservation under five sub-categories: A, B, C, D and E. Kapus, a predominant caste in coastal Andhra with a powerful political backing, will be included as the sixth sub-category F.